SOLD Prince Neff

A heartfelt congratulations goes to Kirstin Murphy of Longview Farm in Alabama on the purchase of Prince Neff. Kirstin comes from ‘Equestrian Royalty’ (google Dennis Murphy), and she plans on campaigning Eddie in the Retired Racehorse Project 2018.

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SOLD Handsome Jake

Congratulation to Bryant McGee on his purchase of Handsome Jake. We are all thrilled knowing that its not only a perfect match, but that we will continue to see Jake move up the ranks in Eventing and follow his future success. Thank you Bryant for your love of Thoroughbreds and we look forward to seeing you both at the horse trials!

HandsomeJakeTrotRightMay182017

 

Stay Grey

Nature’s first dapple is grey.
Her hardest color to stay.
Her early coat’s a bay, but only so a day.
Then dapple subsides to white, in the morning light.
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing grey can stay.

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Coach E – Sold

Congratulations to Judy McDonald on her purchase of Coach E! Judy will continue to develop Coach and bring her along as a show horse, with also the hopes of enjoying her chasing the hounds in the next few years.

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Betsy SOLD

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Congratulation to Sandra McDonald on the purchase of our beautiful Betsy. We are so pleased that she will be Eventing with you and that its a start of a long and successful partnership together.

GO Betsy! GO Thoroughbred!

Buyers In Sheep’s Clothing

It is usually articles in well circulated publications titled “Buyer’s Beware” that frighten the you-know-what out of the readers when it comes to the shady underworld of horse sellers. As a seller of Thoroughbreds for the competition world, I’ve gone through great lengths of marketing all my horses with clear and honest representation. I’ve been told numerous times that honesty is a rare trait in the horse world, and I can agree. But it goes both ways as a buyer and as a seller.

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I vet buyers before they come to the farm to try the horses. I ask questions relevant to what their requirements are and then I tell them what mine are in order to buy a horse from me. Some may consider it intrusive of me. . . I think its smart.

For some strange reason there seems to be an influx of potential buyers who shall I say, are a smidge dishonest and come from La-La Land. The meetings are always a learning experience, very memorable and downright frustrating.

I hope to provide fellow sellers a peek into my experiences and how even the sweetest looking buyer in breeches is potentially someone in sheep’s clothing. Here is a list of interesting and true tidbits that will leave you nodding, shaking your head, laughing, and slack-jawed.

  • I use to ride at the Intermediate Level of Eventing in the 1990’s.
  • I was on the ‘Real Housewives’. I’m sort of a celebrity.
  • I’m close friends with George, Joe, Karen and Bruce.
  • I want my vet to do the prepurchase exam. You’re going to have haul to their clinic in South Carolina, or Florida, or Alabama before I decide if I want your horse.
  • Your horse must pass a prepurchase exam 100%.
  • I don’t like chestnut mares even though there’s zero scientific evidence to the fake stereotypes.
  • My dream is to ride in the Olympics. Can this horse take me there?
  • I want to ride in the Rolex 3-Day in 2 years. I only want to spend between $2K – $5K for a horse.
  • I know everything there is about Thoroughbreds and racing. I took a class.
  • I have to sell my horse first before buying a new one.
  • I just started looking for my perfect unicorn. Your gray fits everything I’m looking for and then some. But I need to try 20 more horses before I make a decision.
  • Can I come back and ride your horse a second, third, fourth time?
  • I’d need to take your horse on trial for 30 days before I decide on buying.
  • How do I know your horse can jump?

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  • I spoke to my trainer and she said since you won’t pay her a finder’s fee, she told me to look at other horses.
  • I keep my horses on pasture board. I take their shoes off. I only feed Bermuda and Fescue hay.
  • I weigh 200 lbs. and I’m 5’4″. I want to buy a horse to help me lose weight.
  • My 12 year old child can ride anything. She jumps 4′ fences on a 31 year old local school horse.
  • Woman wears $1200 custom Italian boots and a Rolex, but offers less than half the price of the horse.
  • Can you make video of your horse free jumping, loading on a trailer, standing while being groomed and get it to me by this afternoon. I want to make sure it’s husband/boyfriend safe.

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My final experience is a doosey! After wasting my time for over 7 hours, and the person was still not making a decision to purchasing a horse, I was asked, “Is this horse fast?”

Exhausted, we walked out to the back pasture, I opened the gate and took the bridle off. I smiled at the person and slapped the horse on the rump and watched him gallop full speed down the hill and out of sight. “Was that fast enough for you?” I asked.

So to the buyers out there, I want you to know that I’m a straight shooter and I want to sell you one of my horses only if you’re honest with me and don’t play games. You’ll be lucky to have one of my Thoroughbreds to call your own.

Don’t be that person in sheep’s clothing.

GO Thoroughbred – GO Little Kentucky Farm!

 

 

SOLD – Zuzu’s Petals

Little Kentucky Farm would like to congratulate Karen Kerby of Pleasant Hills Farm on the purchase of Zuzu’s Petals. This will be Karen’s 2nd horse purchased from us!

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SOLD – Zuzu’s Petals

SOLD – Wing Tip Shoes

For Sale - Wing Tip Shoes
Sold – Wing Tip Shoes

Thank you and congratulations to the Lombardi family of New Jersey on their purchase of this lovely 3 year old prospect, Wing Tip Shoes (Hunter).

GO Hunter! – GO Thoroughbred!

Reflections of Heathcliff 1985 – 2015

It has been tough watching my partner grow old. I’ve discovered as Heathcliff has changed through the years, that I’ve been changing right along with him. We’ve gotten old together. I made him a single promise when we first met, that I would do everything in my power to make him happy. I hope I did that, right up to the end. I feel a bit lost without him, but I suppose that too shall pass.

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Heathcliff – Photo by Dean Graham

I was returning back to the shed row when I first noticed him. He was a deep chestnut galloping alone in a pasture against the background of white fencing at the training track. I kept my eye on him as I rode up the pathway and it was a good thing that I did because from the back of the pasture, the chestnut colt took off at full speed down the side of the fence line straight for us.

The next thing I heard was a high pitch shrill when he spotteds us and he had no plans of slowing down as he was getting closer to the end of the field. I can remember feeling my stomach tighten and realizing that this crazy thing was going to crash into the fence and kill itself.

I jumped off my horse and yelled for help, hoping that someone could stop what was bound to happen any second. The grooms and a handful of stout Irish boys came to the barn’s doorway to see what trouble the silly blonde girl got herself into.

I was scared to look in the direction of the colt, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. He screamed again as he came to the fence, rocked back onto his hind quarters and lifted off the ground giving it everything he had, while clearing the 5′ fence.

We were all silent. Everyone. Totally silent. We stood there looking at each other, looking at the fence and back at each other. He cleared it. He more than cleared it – he sailed over it. It was beautiful. It was poetry. It was the type of jump folks would talk about over a pint at the pub.

Then someone broke the silence with a, “Bloody f- – -ing hell! Did you see that?”

We located the colt grazing peacefully outside the broodmare’s paddock, the ladies standing nearby trying to get the colt’s attention. He never bothered to make their acquaintance, but simply wanted to graze near them and not be alone. He hated to be alone.

That was how it all began. I promised to make him happy and I promised he’d never be alone.

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Heathcliff and Zeb

 

 

Going Green

The benefits of investing in a green prospect as your next Eventing partner

3 year old Thoroughbred gelding

For some, the only direction they want to go is to look at a ‘made’ horse who has mileage and a competition history.  For others, taking a young green horse (sometimes straight out of a field) and molding them into a talented teammate is one of personal accomplishment.  While this topic is always up for debate, there are obvious reasons why a person should consider purchasing a green prospect.

Cost.  The amount of money to invest in a horse can sometimes place a person into a particular market.  On average the cost of a green prospect can range from $0 – $15K.  Those who are priced on the higher end may already be confidently working at all gaits and jumping small courses and even doing low-level competitions.  What can be attractive about a green horse can be the price, where it allows a larger number of the public to purchase quality young stock at an affordable price.

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Schooling trips off the farm.

Clean Slate/No Baggage.  Buying a green horse gives an owner the chance to start the horse’s training from a clean slate.  It’s at this stage where the horse can work on building a solid foundation of the basics such as walking, trotting, cantering and halting.  If done properly with sometimes the assistance of a professional trainer, then the natural progression of training a prospect is footwork over poles and small obstacles.  Gradually the obstacles should increase in their technical questions as training progresses.  Working from a clean slate can mean zero baggage, where the horse hasn’t had the chance to learn something incorrectly or develop negative behavior or vices.

3 year old Jimmy Legs first time through water

Soundness.  Prospect Eventers can be a mixed bag of breeds ranging from Draft crosses, Warmbloods, Arab crosses, Appendix Quarter Horses to traditional Thoroughbreds.  Prospects will generally be young and have less physical wear and tear on their bodies, and physical soundness combined with correct conformation is important when purchasing a green prospect. The basics to pay attention to is to start with good solid feet, then on to clean legs, up towards a large shoulder, over to a big kind eye, down the neck to a short coupled back and correct hip angle.

Horsemanship.  Buying ‘made’ horses does have its benefits, but so does owning a green horse. It’s here that an owner commits themselves to the training and management of their prospect, sometimes learning things as they go along, sometimes having the guidance of an expert and sometimes relying upon their own personal horsemanship skills to successfully take a horse up the levels.  As with any horse hands-on, there will most certainly be good days and bad days in training.  But what riders can admit about the experience of working with a green horse, is that they’ve not only become better riders, but better horsemen all around.  It’s a trait that seems to be disappearing throughout the equine community.  And maybe the fact of never having experienced what it’s like to bring a green horse out from a pasture and back it for the first time, is somehow connected to the lack of riding skills.

Beecher’s Brook schooling the ditch at home